Cacio e Pepe "cheese and pepper" - One of Italy's oldest and most popular pasta recipes

Simple magic with only 3 ingredients!


  • 200 gram spaghetti
  • 100 gram pecorino / "parmesan"
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper
  • the cooking water from the pasta

You MUST try this pasta dish! This is one of Italy's oldest pasta dishes and it is still very popular. The dish is made from pepper, cheese and pasta. With the help of the boiling water, you get a magically good sauce. In this dish, I recommend using pecorino cheese, but you can also use parmesan if you can't find pecorino. The pasta itself really has the main role in this dish and I therefore recommend buying slightly better quality pasta. Pasta of a slightly better quality has a rougher surface which means that the sauce adheres perfectly and does not slide off. The recipe also has a video instruction that you can see at the bottom of this recipe.

Cacio e pepe

Step 1

Find a large pot in which to cook the spaghetti and fill it with water. Add a good amount of salt to the cooking water for the pasta. I also find a pan with a slightly high edge where the dish will be finished towards the end. This is a recipe that doesn't take long so I like to have everything ready before I start. Grate the pecorino cheese very thinly (use the smallest on the grater) and place in a bowl. Use WHOLE black pepper that you crush. Now you are ready to begin this dish.

Cacio e pepe 2

Step 2

Place the pasta in the boiling water. The pasta should be cooked here for about 3/4 of the time. It should finish cooking in the pan afterwards. So if it says 12 minutes on the package, cook for about 9 minutes until the pasta is slightly undercooked.

Cacio e pepe 4

Step 3

Roast the pepper in a dry pan over medium heat until you get a wonderful smell of pepper. This gives the pepper a much better taste and becomes a little milder. This takes 2-4 minutes. When the pepper has been roasted, I add some of the cooking water from the pasta and let this simmer.

Cacio e pepe 3

Step 4

Also take some of the cooking water and pour over finely grated pecorino. Stir until you get a slightly thick porridge. We will add this towards the end.

Cacio e pepe 5

Step 5

Then move the spaghetti into the pan and DO NOT throw away the cooking water. Pour a little more cooking water into the pan and let the pasta cook in this "pepper water" until it is fully cooked. Turn down the heat and add the pecorino mixture. Mix well and adjust once more with the cooking water until you get the right consistency for the sauce.

Cacio e pepe 6

Step 6

Now transfer to a plate and serve. Garnish with some fresh herbs and extra pecorino. Now you can enjoy a simple and very delicious classic pasta dish from Italy. Good luck.